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Medical malpractice lawsuit: what are the first steps? (PART 1)

When someone suffers an injury or dies while under the care of a physician, they or their loved ones may wonder if medical negligence was involved. The key issue that needs to be addressed is whether another medical professional would have provided the same standard of care under similar circumstances. Although winning a medical malpractice lawsuit may seem extremely daunting, with the right representation, it can be done if medical negligence and the resulting injuries are proven.

So what do you do if you think you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice? It can be wise to reach out to the medical professional from the start to see if the issue can be remedied in any way. Some providers may even provide services free of charge in order to fix the problem.

If that step does not give you the results you need, you may want to contact the medical licensing board to see if they are willing to do anything about the issue. While they usually can’t force the medical professional to compensate you, they may be able to discipline the provider or give you more information about what can be done.

If you do plan to file a lawsuit, many states require that patients file a certificate of merit. To file such a document, the patient or his or her loved ones need to contact an expert, who is usually a physician, who will review the medical records and certify that the medical professional you worked with “deviated from acceptable medical practices,” and that the deviation caused the injuries. This certificate will be used by your attorney when filing a claim. In our next post we will continue this discussion.

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